Koeman disappointed with missing first trophy of season

Coach Ronald Koeman was not a very happy man after Ajax lost 4-2 to FC Utrecht in the match for the Johan Cruijff Shield. Although the Dutch Super Cup is not the most important trophy of the season, it would have been nice if the team could have won it with good football. But FC Utrecht deservedly went home with the shield and broke the pattern that the trophy is won by Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord.

Ajax were stronger in the first half but the home side could have been down after only eight minutes when Sandro Calabro completely misfired before an open goal. Ajax did however hardly create any chances themselves. The second half was much more attractive. wesley Sonck fired from the edge of the box and thus woke his team up. Six minutes into the second half Tom Soetaers crossed and Steven Pienaar scored. Utrecht's goalkeeper Terol claimed that the ball had not completely crossed the goalline, but found no-one who agreed with him.

Ajax could not enjoy the good times long. Two minutes after the goal, Tom Soetaers was sent off for allegedly kicking at his opponent. ,,It should have been a yellow card at the most'', said Koeman. With ten players Ajax could not hold on to the lead. Alje Schut put in the equaliser. But also Utrecht would finish with ten players. In the 77th minute Broerse was shown his second yellow card after a foul on goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Now it was Ajax's turn to take advantage. Anthony Obodai, in midfield after the substitution of Grygera for Pienaar, found Wesley Sneijder in the box and the young sub, who had come on for Wesley Sonck, put it in for 2-1. A great feeling for Sneijder, who comes from Utrecht and scoring against that team means much to him. But his celebration was not so nice, as he seemed to yell something at his coach. ,,I was not yelling at the boss'', Sneijder claimed afterwards. ,,I will not get into that now'', Koeman said. ,,I will ask him about it tomorrow. When he scores he should be happy for himself and the team.''

Sneijder thought he had made the winning goal but Utrecht's coach Foeke Booy had one more ace in the hole. He brought on Hans Somers and the sub had just come on when he made it 2-2 and minutes later even 2-3. Former Ajax player Darl Douglas made it, a week before Ajax start their league campaign against FC Twente, worse by scoring 2-4 off the body of Maxwell.

,,Our defence was not good'', Koeman said. ,,The most disappointing thing was that we could not hold on to our lead when it was ten against ten. But Utrecht were deserving winners.''